Archive for July, 2013

Wednesday, July 31st 2013

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

In 2010 former Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes traded for Ian Kennedy, Three years later now San Diego Padres GM Josh Byrnes traded for Ian Kennedy once again. In Kennedy’s first season with Arizona he showed great potential, so much so it led him to be the 2011 opening day starter. The Diamondbacks made the playoffs in 2011, and Ian Kennedy was arguably the biggest reason why after going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA. ultimately the Diamondbacks lost in 5 games to the Brewers. In both 2012, and 2013 Kennedy was manager Kirk Gibson’s choice as opening day starter. However Kennedy had a very disappointing 2012 campaign, and was ultimately worse in the follow-up 2013 season.

Hours before the 4pm EST trade deadline on July 31st, 2013 it was announced the Diamondbacks have agreed to trade Kennedy to the division rival San Diego Padres for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, relief prospect Matt Stites, as well as a 2014 Competitive Balance 2nd round pick. While the baseball industry appears to be mixed about the trade, as some feel like the Diamondbacks got very little for Kennedy, while some believe the Diamondbacks got a quality return for the one time Cy Young candidate.

Both Padres fans and Diamondbacks fans should like the trade, first it helps the DBacks chances of making the 2013 playoffs, as well as adding a very high draft pick, and a quality pitching prospect. Padres fans hope they catch lightning in a bottle and Kennedy returns to the form that had him as a 4th place finish in the 2011 Cy Young vote.

Going forward Ian Kennedy was likely going to be kicked out of the rotation regardless. As the Diamondbacks have very good starting pitching depth with Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, Randall Delgado, Brandon McCarthy, Archie Bradley, Tyler Skaggs, and even more quality prospects.

Scouting Reports:

Ian Kennedy RHP (Padres) Kennedy has a High 80’s, Low 90’s fastball which he throws 60% of the time. He also throws a high 70’s curveball, low 80’s change-up, as well as a mid-to-upper 80’s cutter. Ian Kennedy appears to be a perfect fit for Petco Park, as Kennedy is a Flyball/Strikeout pitcher.

Joe Thatcher LHP (Diamondbacks) Thatcher is a lefty specialist who doesn’t have the best velocity, but thrives with great deception. From 2010-2012  has held lefties to an amazing .182 AVG, while righties hit .256 in the same time. The DBacks greatly needed a second lefty in the bullpen, and it doesn’t get much better than Thatcher.

Matt Stites RHP (Diamondbacks) (Stites is likely out the rest of 2013 following an emergency appendectomy) Stites is probably the most interesting piece of the entire trade. A 17th round pick of the 2011 draft, Stites has been nothing short of amazing. In 2012 Stites had a 0.74 ERA, with 60 strikeouts and only 3 walks  in 48 2/3 innings. In 2013 Stites has been equally impressive in AA posting a 2.08 ERA with 51 Strikeouts and 8 walks in 52 innings. Stites throws a fastball that touches 96 MPH+, to go along with his amazing command is very impressive.

Joe Thatcher

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Tuesday, July 30th 2013

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians

 

So the big story on Twitter this afternoon is the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to trade for Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy. The ties between Peavy and Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers go all the way back to 1999 when Towers drafted Peavy in the 15th round for the San Diego Padres. Peavy is not too long removed from being one of the National Leagues best pitchers, as proved by his 2007 season when he won the NL Cy Young award, beating out former Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb. Since he was traded to Chicago Peavy has battled some injuries that have somewhat limited him, but when he’s been healthy enough to toe the rubber he has pitched fairly well. In 13 2013 starts peavey has a 4.28 ERA in 80 innings, with a 76/17 Strikeout/walk ratio.

The White Sox are looking for a major haul in any Peavy trade. Asking for 2-3 top prospects, as well as the other team to assume the rest of the money owed on Peavy’s contract. Meaning likely the Diamondbacks would have to part with LHP prospect Tyler Skaggs, as well as either short stop Chris Owings, or third base prospect Matt Davidson. Which for a team to take on that big of a contract, and part with some of its top prospects seems like a lot to give up for the 32-year-old Jake Peavy.

While most trade rumors pre deadline don’t ever happen, it’ll be interesting to see how this possible trade plays out.

Arizona-Diamondbacks

 

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Monday July 29th, 2013

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

On January 24th Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers traded 25 Year Old superstar outfielder Justin Upton along with teammate Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves for fan favorite third baseman Martin Prado, pitcher Randall Delgado, along with prospects shortstop Nick Ahmed, Pitcher Zeke Spruill, and third baseman Brandon Drury. From the time of the trade Towers was hammered by the media for giving up on a young superstar with a club friendly contract. As the season started things only got worse for the Diamondbacks GM, as Justin Upton set the baseball world on fire in April as he slugged 12 home runs, and had the Braves on top of the Nation League East. While out in the Desert Martin Prado was slumping badly for the Diamondbacks, as was pitcher Randall Delgado who was sent to AAA after spring training and had an ERA around 9.00.

Since the month of April, the Justin Upton trade still looks one sided, but now in the Diamondbacks favor. After an incredible April Justin Upton went on a cold streak that has now spread from May through the end of July, and Upton is showing no signs of heating up. While Martin Prado has started to heat up and show Diamondbacks fans why he was such a fan favorite for Braves fans. Following injuries to pitchers Brandon McCarthy, and Trevor Cahill the Diamondbacks promoted Randall Delgado and inserted him into the starting rotation. Since that time Delgado has pitched to the tune of a 2.85 ERA in 8 Starts, with an impressive 38/10 strikeout to walk ratio, and appears to be showing what once made him a top 50 prospect in all of baseball when he was with Atlanta. Pitcher Zeke Spruill was also impressive in his short MLB stint as a reliever compiling a 2.08 ERA with 5 strikeouts, in 4 1/3 innings.

Down in AA Mobile shortstop Nick Ahmed got off to a rough start in April/May at the plate, but since June, Ahmed has been sensational batting close to .300 in June/July. Some scouts feel that Ahmed already plays better defense than current Diamondbacks defensive wizard Didi Gregorius, which if you’ve seen Didi play defense that is some serious praise. The most intriguing player of the entire trade may very well be 20 year old third base prospect Brandon Drury. In the Low A Midwest League Drury has been nothing short of amazing with a slash line of .321/.366/.532 with 41 Doubles, 4 Triples, 12 Home runs, and 71 RBI with a very respectable 27/63 walk/strikeout rate.

While we don’t yet know who won this trade, we probably won’t even know that for 10-15 years from now. However right now Diamondbacks fans have got too really like what they see in the players acquired in the Upton trade.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.